Carmelites have been helping rebuild Timor-Leste, after Cyclone Seroja caused great destruction across Timor over the Easter weekend impacting over 25,500 households.

Handing out immediate relief & long-term practical help

The Carmelite Brothers in Hera and Dili were able to provide immediate emergency relief to around 500 families in the aftermath of the floods. This included distributing food, water, sanitation items, clothes and cooking utensils.

Once the initial emergency phase ended, the Brothers in Hera identified 23 families with more serious needs. These families are currently receiving additional assistance, specifically building materials and tools to assist them as they rebuild parts of their homes.

An additional 30 families are now receiving assistance, specifically furniture & building materials.

Fixing washed away roads and infrastructure

In Dili, Brothers observed problems with the drains that run along the street in Fatuhada, which were blocked and in general disrepair, making it difficult for flood water to subside.  In Hera, part of the road leading to the Carmelite compound was washed away. This caused problems for the whole community, as this was the only access to the main road for the local people. In both locations, the Brothers have worked with local community volunteers to fix these problems, making this vital infrastructure functional again.

Rebuilding a Community Water Supply

Susan is a small hamlet in Hera and home to 80 people in 12 different households. The Carmelite Brothers visited this hamlet and spoke to the community leaders whose priority in the aftermath of the flood was to fix their water supply.

The Carmelite Brothers and students worked with the local community to rebuild the whole water system, not only installing new pipes but also building two new large cement water tanks which are now fully operational.

Repairing Damaged Schools

Torrential rain and high winds over several days damaged two of our Carmelite primary schools. School Principal Br. Antonio reported damage to the tin roofing on both schools, which in turn caused water leaks damaging ceilings, walls and verandas.

Work is now underway at the schools to replace the roofs, repair and paint walls, and replace ceilings. The project has employed local labourers who are working with several teachers who have volunteered their time.

Moving forward

Carmelites in Timor-Leste continue to support communities to thrive, particularly through enabling children and young people to access education.  In October, a new appeal will launch to alleviate the spread and impact of COVID-19 in the same communities as assisted by the emergency flood appeal.